In this country, religion and human nature have become very hot political topics. Is that the case in Sweden?

Actually, yeah. It's a very secular country. Growing up, we didn't go to church more than once a year. At school, there was never talk of God or anything. But now, coming back to Sweden after touring, there's a revived discussion of religion and society. There's a lot of immigrants with religious beliefs. The Danish cartoonists drew a figure of Muhammad and that started riots, which has started discussion. Recently, Danish newspapers reprinted those drawings. I think the basic view on dividing church and state and not mixing supernatural beings with science and ethics are all part of the discussion.

Do you think of yourself as an atheist?

Above: Gil Mantera's Party Dream.
Fredrik Egerstrand
Above: Gil Mantera's Party Dream.
Right: José González
Fredrik Egerstrand
Right: José González

Yes, that's the practical stance to take when there's no evidence for God. So I'm 99.9999 percent atheist.

But listening to your voice, the tone of it, it doesn't sound like someone who doesn't believe in the supernatural.

I think it's interesting. Many times we confuse a belief in the supernatural with the way religions package it. Spirituality can be something you can indulge in without feeling the necessity to believe in things you have no evidence for. I like the idea of indulging in music and losing oneself in art. That's something I try to convey in my music, using repetition. It's close to meditation sometimes.

— Roy Kasten

8 p.m. Wednesday, March 19. Graham Chapel, Washington University. 6445 Forsyth Boulevard. Free for Wash. U. students, $10 for the public. 314-935-5917.

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